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Saturday 09 Apr 2022
Dominican triumph in Danske Bank competition

It has been quite a week for two teams from Dominican College in north Belfast.

First the school’s U14 side won the Electric Ireland Junior Schools’ Cup in their debut season in the competition.

And then the school’s U16s won the final of this year’s Danske Bank competition for girls’ 11-a-side school teams.

The Danske Bank final tournament, staged at Allen Park in Antrim, featured five teams who competed in a league format, playing each other in 15-minute matches.

The schools involved were Dominican, Abbey Community College from Newtownabbey, Holy Cross College in Strabane, Belfast’s Lagan College and St Joseph’s (Belfast).

Dominican’s first opponents were Abbey Community College who they had drawn 2-2 with in an earlier regional heat. This time, however, Dominican were dominant and won the game 2-0 win. 

They followed that victory up with a 2-0 win over holders St Joseph’s College who were the favourites for the tournament having performed strongly in their regional heat.

Lagan College ended Dominican’s winning streak by holding them 0-0 in their third game. 

The north Belfast school’s final encounter was against Holy Cross – and it was a game that would decide which school would lift the trophy.In a tight game it was the ever reliable Anna Walsh, with a composed finish, who gave Dominican the lead.

Walsh was also involved in what turned out to be the winning goal. She won a free-kick just outside the Holy Cross area and up stepped in Morrison to smash the ball into the top corner to make it 2-0 and secure the silverware.

It was a great team performance from Dominican. Goalkeeper Gabriela Cacariaza kept a clean sheet in all four games, while in front of her Emma Brown defended superbly and helped to set up numerous attacks.

Another star player on the day was Jessica Mulholland. Several chances came from her play down the right and the crosses she delivered into the box.

Runners-up were Holy Cross who confirmed their second place finish by defeating St Joseph’s in the final game of the day. 

On hand to present the teams with their trophies were Sinead McCloskey from Danske Bank and Irish FA Foundation Director James Thompson. 

Afterwards Dominican College coach Jessica Foy said: “I am so proud of the girls and what they have achieved this year. They have played with a great team spirit throughout and I’m so excited to bring this trophy back to the school.” 

Damian McLaughlin, the Irish FA Foundation’s Schools and Futsal Officer, thanked Danske Bank for supporting the competition.

He also said: “It was a fantastic event. The girls really came to play and it was such an enjoyable competition.”

Images: Action and presentations from the final tournament of the Danske Bank competition for girls’ 11-a-side school teams.